Book Reviews, March 1950, March 1950

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“Wolseley, A Saga of The Motor Industry,” by St. John C. Nixon. (Foulis, 159 pages, 8s. 6d.).
This book is similar to St. J. Nixon’s earlier one on the history of the Daimler Company. We said when we reviewed the Daimler book, and we say it again now, that books on each of the leading British motor car manufacturers would be a very pleasant addition to the library. Perhaps if Mr. Nixon’s energy continues unabated this wish may one day become an accomplished fact.
 
Meanwhile, this story of the Wolseley concern is well told, nicely illustrated and worth having. The author is clearly more interested in the early days of the company, from 1895 to 1905, than in its later, complex range of models. He clarifies for its the first of all the Wolseley cars, which appeared in two versions, and tells how the firm which built them came into being. Herbert Austin’s racing Wolseleys of 1902-05 get reasonable mention and there is later reference to racing at Brooklands, with a picture that has appeared previously in “The Story of Brooklands, Vol. I.” The Cape record also receives adequate mention, although since the book has been published Wolseley has lost this record to Austin. The story goes right up to 1949, including inevitable description of heroism at the factory during air raids. This useful book, although it cannot go nearly as fully into technicalities as did the contemporary technical Press, concludes with a table of all the Wolseley and Wolseley-Siddeley production cars from 1895 to 1949 and will enhance owner-pride in even the lesser Wolseley models.—W. B.
*
“A Chronicle of the Automotive Industry in  America” (Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, Detroit, 76 pages).
At first sight this nicely turned-out, generously illustrated booklet seems superficial as a history of the American Industry from 1893-1949. But under each yearly heading salient facts have obviously been very carefully marshalled, so that the references are distinctly useful. New makes introduced each year are listed and at the end are some excellent photographs of twenty current American private cars and commercial vehicles, which will assist the European enthusiast in the difficult task of identifying such vehicles as he encounters them.—W. B.
* * *
The Register of pre-1933 Alvis cars now contains 140 names, some people owning more than one car. The subscription is 10s. 6d., to P. R. Quiggin, 6, Grantchester Road, Cambridge.